Some people don’t think they have enough assets to have to worry about a will. Others simply never get around to creating one. Whatever the case, matters can quickly become complicated if you pass away without a valid will.
In such cases, Ontario intestacy rules will dictate how your assets are distributed. This may go against your wishes and exclude certain family members who would have otherwise been included. Ultimately, this can lead to anguish and resentment among your loved ones.
Individual choices make the difference
When you create a will, you lay out your wishes for a variety of scenarios. If you don’t make your wishes known in this way, then important decisions will be made based on Ontario intestacy rules. These include:
- Who will carry out your last wishes by serving as the estate trustee
- Who will take over the care of any minor children
- Who will manage the property left behind for minor children
- Who will receive certain assets from the estate – such as a car, house, jewellery or other personal or sentimental items
- Instructions regarding funeral arrangements
Without a will, these decisions are left to the courts to make. More than likely, they will not be the same decisions you would have made, and beneficiaries and heirs anticipating the receipt of something from the estate may end up disappointed.
Estate administration could quickly turn into estate litigation under these circumstances. Having a will could help avoid such complications, and you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be followed. If you want to ensure that you get to make these important decisions yourself, it’s important to work with an estate planning lawyer to draft a legally binding document outlining your wishes.